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Decoding Mobile Carriers' Latest Push For Profits

Soulskill posted about 4 years ago | from the there's-a-trap-for-that dept.

Wireless Networking 64

snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Galen Gruman sifts through the 'doubleplus ungood' of this year's CTIA and Mobile World Congress to spell out 'Big Brother' mobile carriers' true designs for IT and smartphone users. From fake 4G salespitches, to mobile payment systems that hide text-messaging payment confirmation fees, to the inevitability of tier pricing for mobile data usage, no facet of smartphone use is beyond providers' latest profit-engineering push. Even IT's concerns over the invasion of mobile devices at their companies has become 'a great excuse to sell warmed-over management tools to fearful IT and security execs.' And make no mistake, mea culpas, like AT&T admitting to falling short on relieving 3G congestion, will result in additional opportunities to pad providers' bottom lines by, say, buying a $150 femtocell from AT&T to help AT&T 'solve' its problem. 'Of course, in typical Big Brother fashion, [AT&T] told the US government to stay out of wireless — meaning don't regulate prices or impose Net neutrality — while also asking the government for more spectrum. You know the contradiction: The government is good when it gives you free or cheap services but bad when it tries to impose regulation to prevent abusive behavior: doublethink ungood.'"

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64 comments

Big companies not so different than people (3, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 4 years ago | (#31638918)

"You know the contradiction: The government is good when it gives you free or cheap services but bad when it tries to impose regulation to prevent abusive behavior: doublethink ungood.'"
 
Sounds like corporations really are just like individual [meat] persons.

Re:Big companies not so different than people (2, Insightful)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about 4 years ago | (#31639220)

Corporations are amoral (immoral ?) actors. They do what is best for their organization/corporation and everyone else be damned.

Ironically, this seems to mean that Corporations, were they real persons, would be voting Democrat, not Republican.

Re:Big companies not so different than people (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#31639436)

"Amoral" is correct. A corporation has about as much morals as a rock or tree.

My cellphone company (Virgin) offers a good rate on voice calling, but their dataplan sucks. $4 for every 20 megabytes. I download that much over my slow dialup connection every hour; over DSL every 5 minutes. I was planning to get that new Opera Mini so I can look-up stuff on the go, but that changed my mind. I can't afford it.

I'll stick with wired.

Re:Big companies not so different than people (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31643248)

You pay $4 to Virgin? I usually only have to buy a beer.

Re:Big companies not so different than people (1)

jhoegl (638955) | about 4 years ago | (#31639476)

I dont think you understand what a Democrat stands for, nor do you understand what a Republican stands for in the business world.

Re:Big companies not so different than people (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 4 years ago | (#31640590)

Are you sure? I watch Fox News, and they say Democrats are bad, and this article is about how wireless carriers are bad, so obviously, by the transitive properties of bad, Democrats are wireless carriers.

Re:Big companies not so different than people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31639486)

Because the guiding principle for Republicans is ``What is good for everyone else?'' and not let everyone do what ever they want like hoard guns and not pay a single penny in taxes?

Re:Big companies not so different than people (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about 4 years ago | (#31641374)

I don't understand why this is modded Insightful. A corporation isn't really a life form in itself, it's just a legal entity. It does whatever running it (people) want. Meaning I could rewrite the parent as:

"Sounds like people really are just like individual [meat] persons."

Yes... insightful.

Re:Big companies not so different than people (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | about 4 years ago | (#31642684)

The difference being, corporations are run by *groups* of people, usually with differing opinions on how to behave. Thus: "sounds like groups of people are just like individual [meat] persons."

Except, of course, that a single person can be pro, contra or neutral on any given subject. A group of people can be those, too, but the end result is usually not a unanimous decision, and that's where it becomes murky - if 40% vote pro the "evil" course, 30% vote contra, and 30% don't care; the evil course is followed, even though only a minority of the organism really wanted to follow it. Cue a plethora of voting systems, but if you find a perfect one, feel free to share it with the world.

Re:Big companies not so different than people (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about 4 years ago | (#31653980)

They may have differing opinions as individuals, but overall they share a general pattern of behavior, especially in the boardroom, that would yield a shared opinion which would support this type of double standard when it comes to regulation and government intervention in business. So it seems like "groups of people" but as part of indoctrination into corporate culture they've homogenized into what acts more like a single "evil" person.

The upper branches of corporations promote and build their ranks with individuals who share their own beliefs and ethics, the result being "meet the new guy, same as the one who just left".

For more info you might check out Who Rules America? by G. William Domhoff, it's a (small) college textbook about the interactions between the social classes, business leadership, and government.

Doubleplus ungood indeed (5, Insightful)

NightWhistler (542034) | about 4 years ago | (#31638936)

This has to be the most biased write-up I've seen in a while... sure, most carriers are probably Lawful Evil, but this makes me want to avoid the whole article like the plague....

Re:Doubleplus ungood indeed (2, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | about 4 years ago | (#31639024)

Slashdot just used up all their Big Brother references for the year.

Re:Doubleplus ungood indeed (2, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | about 4 years ago | (#31639680)

This has to be the most biased write-up I've seen in a while

I was wondering about that when I read it. Kinda sounds like they're pulling facts up out of the sand too...

Throw in multiple bandwidths for the CDMA 2G/3G technology used by Sprint and Verizon Wireless, and you quickly get so many technology and frequency variations that the phones can't easily be designed to support them all. Adding the circuitry and multiple radio tuners to support every possibility quickly causes space, power usage, and heat issues -- and higher costs.

Oh really? Adding additional radio tuners (of which only one is going to be turned on at a given time) causes heat and power issues? Makes me wonder whose laws of physics HE obeys...

Re:Doubleplus ungood indeed (2, Informative)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 4 years ago | (#31641430)

It's quite possible. For example, if you need to support different bands you may not have the space or budget to put in a completely separate radio system for each. So you make some parts multi-frequency. Instead of a nicely tuned radio subsystem you end up with design compromises, and the whole thing is a little less efficient.

Piling more radios into a case of a given size means things have to be packed closer together, which can cause heat problems even if you're not actually producing any more heat.

Also, most components are integrated on a single IC these days and the extra bits, even when not in use, can still have power consumption consequences.

Re:Doubleplus ungood indeed (1)

v1 (525388) | about 4 years ago | (#31642440)

Instead of a nicely tuned radio subsystem you end up with design compromises, and the whole thing is a little less efficient.

Dropped calls, out of service areas, battery life, and ease of use are the "big four" in what sells a cell phone. Most manufacturers try very hard to maximize the first three by using the most efficient, highly-tuned receivers and transmitters available. They usually get publicly crucified otherwise. The cell phone market is by nature such a social climate that anything bad about your product gets blown entirely out of proportion and can be devastating to the sale of that model. Word of mouth is paramount.

So I assure you, the multiband systems in the cell phones are highly tuned, just the same as any multiband HT. If they run out of room they don't just cheapen the tuning - they either make it bigger or don't include all the bands. It's the better business choice for them. There are also other gotchas like spectrum purity in the transmitter, and THAT will get the FCC on your back in a real quick hurry if you try to cut corners.

(FCC licensed, if you care)

Re:Doubleplus ungood indeed (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 4 years ago | (#31642948)

"don't just cheapen the tuning - they either make it bigger or don't include all the bands"

I hate to tell you, but very few people look at battery life, or dropped calls before they sign a cell contract, and after that it's just too bad. Someone might check out the service areas, but it's not that likely. Battery life, ditto.

Probably the biggest feature when selling the average person cell service is the phone. Interface, sort of, and form factor. So you don't just make the phone bigger. You drop the extra bands. Which is what the article mentioned: it's difficult to support all the different bands.

A by-the-numbers affair with no shenanigans (2, Funny)

Rydia (556444) | about 4 years ago | (#31639006)

"InfoWorld's Galen Gruman sifts through the 'doubleplus ungood' of this year's CTIA and Mobile World Congress to spell out 'Big Brother' mobile carriers' true designs for IT and smartphone users."

This sentence does a good job of informing the reader that article in question is an insightful and objective look at new mobile telecom strategies.

Absurd (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31639030)

Both the summary and the article are absurd.

Prophets (5, Insightful)

Graff (532189) | about 4 years ago | (#31639056)

A corporation wants to make profits? *gasp* I've never heard of such a thing!

BTW, if you check out the submitter, snydeq [slashdot.org] , you can easily see that he is a mouthpiece for Infoworld [infoworld.com] , the corporation that is publishing the article in question. What sinister plans does Infoworld have for its latest push for profits?

Let's not over-characterize a company trying different ways to make profits as being "Big Brother". That term has a specific meaning related to the government, go read some George Orwell if you've forgotten exactly what it means. Yes, some companies may use slight-of-hand and other tricks to get more money out of you but it's far from being "Big Brother".

This is especially true when you spread your article out a few paragraphs at a time across 4 different pages. We know that trick, it's called padding your ad revenue with additional page views. Oooooh, who's the Big Brother corporation now Infoworld?

Better than insightful (-1, Offtopic)

Ada_Rules (260218) | about 4 years ago | (#31639114)

It is posts like this that make be both wish that I had mod points and that there was a very insightful option that transferred a fraction of karma points to the the poster.

Lacking that, moderators should feel free to mod up the parent and mod me down!

Re:Prophets (3, Interesting)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about 4 years ago | (#31639262)

Let's not over-characterize a company trying different ways to make profits as being "Big Brother". That term has a specific meaning related to the government, go read some George Orwell if you've forgotten exactly what it means. Yes, some companies may use slight-of-hand and other tricks to get more money out of you but it's far from being "Big Brother".

In 1984, there was no distinction of the Corporation. That's not really surprising: in Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, and more recently in countries like Venezuela, there has been no distinction between the Corporation and the State because the Corporation is, essentially, dissolved into the state.

In such a situation, the corporation does the state's bidding and works in collusion with said state. They might do it openly or they might do it covertly. With ATT and others effectively working on the government's behalf to push the monitoring society forward, I'd not say the claim that ATT is part of Big Brother is that far off. But the same can (should) be said for pretty much every media organization (specifically) and organizations which have large amounts of personal data on our everyday lives.

(But yes, OP did use it wrong.)

Re:Prophets (1)

Graff (532189) | about 4 years ago | (#31639434)

In 1984, there was no distinction of the Corporation. That's not really surprising: in Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, and more recently in countries like Venezuela, there has been no distinction between the Corporation and the State because the Corporation is, essentially, dissolved into the state.

I'm not saying that a corporation CAN'T be Big Brother, just that this situation definitely doesn't fit with the concept.

Unless, of course, you are amazingly paranoid and think that the government owns everything and everyone. Except you, of course. Wait, how do you know that you aren't a hidden tool of government too? Hmm, you'd better be careful around yourself...

*grin*

Re:Prophets (1)

swb (14022) | about 4 years ago | (#31639972)

It's the other way around.

The basis of the modern government's power is the monopoly on the use of force. In order to maintain and enforce this monopoly, the government must have a source of funding. Without that funding, the government maintains the legal monopoly but no longer can enforce a practical monopoly on the use of force.

Since those in government wish to maintain their power and their positions in government, they accept funding from private entities. In exchange for funding the government, private parties are granted exclusivity arrangements which enable monopoly control over sectors of the economy which are enforced by the government's ability to exercise use of force.

Re:Prophets (1)

Graff (532189) | about 4 years ago | (#31640322)

Since those in government wish to maintain their power and their positions in government, they accept funding from private entities. In exchange for funding the government, private parties are granted exclusivity arrangements which enable monopoly control over sectors of the economy which are enforced by the government's ability to exercise use of force.

Whether corporations end up owning the government or the government swallows up the corporations it pretty much ends the same way, one monolithic entity controlling all production. This has been tried several ways in the past (India Trading Company and British Colonies are a close example, the Soviet Union is another) and really hasn't worked out well in the long-term. Without competition the monolithic entity tends to become inefficient and either collapses or is overthrown. Of course too much competition can be a bad thing too (could lead to a total lack of rule, ie: anarchy) so, as in most things, striking a certain balance is the best solution.

Re:Prophets (1)

swb (14022) | about 4 years ago | (#31641348)

China is doing a decent job demonstrating that it can work, at least in the near term.

I'm not sure any system is good enough over the really long haul, even the Romans couldn't make it persistent.

Re:Prophets (1)

Graff (532189) | about 4 years ago | (#31643298)

China is doing a decent job demonstrating that it can work, at least in the near term.

I'm not sure any system is good enough over the really long haul, even the Romans couldn't make it persistent.

China is actually going away from being a pure communist state and adopting a bit of capitalism. We'll see if it works out or if they are just setting themselves up for problems. Remember that it's usually not during the most oppressive times that there's the most problems, it's usually when the people get a taste of freedom that they rail against their chains and cause havoc.

Over the long haul, yeah it's tough to find a truly stable system. The best you can hope for is to cycle between the various systems of government and try to avoid the extremes.

Re:Prophets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31645484)

Our government is We, the People. You seem to have a beef with the people making decisions for themselves. What's your alternative?

Re:Prophets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31639742)

In 1984, there was no distinction of the Corporation. That's not really surprising: in Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, and more recently in countries like Venezuela, there has been no distinction between the Corporation and the State because the Corporation is, essentially, dissolved into the state.

In such a situation, the corporation does the state's bidding and works in collusion with said state. They might do it openly or they might do it covertly. With ATT and others effectively working on the government's behalf to push the monitoring society forward, I'd not say the claim that ATT is part of Big Brother is that far off. But the same can (should) be said for pretty much every media organization (specifically) and organizations which have large amounts of personal data on our everyday lives.

(But yes, OP did use it wrong.)

Whoa whoa whoa, it's all about Us vs. Them baby. Us, the innocent, ignorant, neglected masses, and Them the fire breathing, omnipotent, sadistic, anti-human bastards foretold in the [ReligionManual|RadioTalkShow|Internet]. And we have to do something about it!

Dictators are _hardly_ a requirement for idiots thinking this way, and they don't necessarily make it right either. Unless you believe Their minions are all robotic Foot Soldiers who don't give a damn about their country's infrastructure and are paid with blood of the innocents.

Re:Prophets (1)

sjames (1099) | about 4 years ago | (#31639630)

It's not the making profit part that's evil, it's how they go about it. They COULD offer a decent service at a decent price and turn a profit and nobody would be the least bit concerned. Instead, they deceive the customer at every turn. Properly, they should be called "little brother" since they are not government but still use many of Big Brother's tricks like calling a reduction an increase, but that's a touch pedantic.

If Infoworld offered you dozens of links to the same article all with different paginations and all claiming to be more article and less ads than the others while they all, in fact, have more ads and less content than ever before, all while accepting grant money supposedly in return for having less ads and more content, they might approach being as bad as telecomms in the U.S. But only if they proclaimed with a strait face that unlimited does not mean without limits.

As for syndeq, what I see is that he obviously reads Infoworld, and finds that much of it is appropriate for submission to /.

Re:Prophets (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about 4 years ago | (#31639950)

So, which telecom company do you work for? This game is easy.

That term has a specific meaning related to the government

O RLY? [wikipedia.org]

I mean, SRSLY? [wikipedia.org]

Re:Prophets (1)

Graff (532189) | about 4 years ago | (#31640472)

What part of "related to the government" didn't you understand. I didn't say "related to TV" or any other kind of relation, in fact I SPECIFICALLY referred to George Orwell's use of the term. (Since, after all, he's the one that coined it!) I hardly think that a TV show or a commercial truly fit the context of the article since it specifically refers to several terms used in the book.

Go read the book, then come back. I'll wait for ya...

Re:Prophets (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | about 4 years ago | (#31641036)

Let's see if this rings a bell. Buy up all of the finite resource (wireless spectrum) charge your customers outrageous prices to use said resource (wireless service) profit forever... yay CAPITALISM.

See Tank Girl for a more entertaining journey into the wonderful nature of capitalism.

Re:Prophets (1)

Graff (532189) | about 4 years ago | (#31643352)

Let's see if this rings a bell. Buy up all of the finite resource (wireless spectrum) charge your customers outrageous prices to use said resource (wireless service) profit forever... yay CAPITALISM.

I'm not sure you understand exactly how the wireless auctions work but if you take a look at it you'll see that it's nearly impossible for such a thing to happen. It's actually set up pretty decently to avoid just this situation.

Besides which, I'm not exactly sure that this directly relates to my post. Perhaps you would care to go back, re-examine what I said, and elaborate? We'll all be waiting with bated breath, I'm sure...

See Tank Girl for a more entertaining journey into the wonderful nature of capitalism.

Yes, I often consult comic books to fulfill my intellectual needs. I mean, most times they closely mirror reality, right? I'll just ignore centuries of economics and philosophy thought on the matter since comic books are such better references.

Who owns the spectrum? (0)

robbievienna (1771246) | about 4 years ago | (#31639076)

"[AT&T] told the US government to stay out of wireless — meaning don't regulate prices or impose Net neutrality — while also asking the government for more spectrum. You know the contradiction: The government is good when it gives you free or cheap services"

Unfortunately, we're falling victim to the mindtrap that the government "owns" the electromagnetic spectrum in a specific jurisdiction, which is about as laughable as thinking it owns the weather. ATT is consisstent in asking the government to relax control over the spectrum, and relax control over the company. It's not asking the government for a handout.

Re:Who owns the spectrum? (3, Informative)

FrostDust (1009075) | about 4 years ago | (#31639124)

Unfortunately, we're falling victim to the mindtrap that the government "owns" the electromagnetic spectrum in a specific jurisdiction, which is about as laughable as thinking it owns the weather.

They don't own it, but the FCC has jurisdiction to regulate it's uses similar to the FAA and US airspace.

If there wasn't regulation of some sort, then the wireless spectrum would be dominated by just a few corporations, being able to put millions into over-powered transmitters that drown out all competition.

Re:Who owns the spectrum? (3, Insightful)

diamondmagic (877411) | about 4 years ago | (#31639180)

That's pure speculation, and not the case anywhere in the world, certainly not when radio was first starting. The FCC was created as a standards body so broadcasters wouldn't accidentally step on each other's toes so to speak, there was never any problem with private property rights in broadcasting. If frequencies can (or could, rather) be bought and sold just like any other product (land), there is absolutely no reason why a few companies would own the spectrum. There might be a few that own a particular frequency across the country, or a large range of bandwidth somewhere, but to expect the entire spectrum to be exclusive to a variety of broadcasters is like saying Wal-Mart will eventually own all the land in the world, it's ignorant, not to mention impossible.

Re:Who owns the spectrum? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31639312)

If frequencies can (or could, rather) be bought and sold just like any other product (land), there is absolutely no reason why a few companies would own the spectrum.

Eh? We've already seen this with radio station conglomerates. Nevertheless the spectrum is still government regulated. I would hope that that regulation would never be privatized given the potential for abuse that would inevitably follow.

Re:Who owns the spectrum? (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | about 4 years ago | (#31640012)

That's pure speculation, and not the case anywhere in the world, certainly not when radio was first starting.

Right, you know, back when transmitters were lucky to cover 50 miles. Don't pretend that what was true then would hold true now. It would be trivial for a mega-corp to build a few dozen high-powered transmitters to jam the spectrum in key areas, and only allow their own stuff through. And after they've done that, they don't even need to *own* the spectrum. Why doesn't it happen? It's not some gentleman's agreement, that's for damn sure. It's because any company who did that would be blasted to oblivion by the government. So if the government gave up apportioning spectrum, but kept the regulations, you'd certainly see a monopoly situation arise. Companies will take the *easiest* route to killing competition, which is obviously not allowing any by buying up the spectrum from others. You start with the small ones, then when it's down to a few big players, they all merge, and the consumer's fucked, and the government would need to do anti-trust regulations. Oh wait, that's what spectrum allocation is NOW. Anti-trust.

Re:Who owns the spectrum? (2, Insightful)

diamondmagic (877411) | about 4 years ago | (#31642300)

That would be theft, it's no different than knocking over your neighbor's house with a bulldozer, you just can't do that. That's what the FCC was created for, not for regulating content, not for auctioning off entire blocks of spectrum like they are now, and not "licensing" wavelengths with annual licenses and terms on their use.

Re:Who owns the spectrum? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 4 years ago | (#31641468)

"If frequencies can (or could, rather) be bought and sold just like any other product (land), there is absolutely no reason why a few companies would own the spectrum."

So if you "buy" a portion of the spectrum, how do you know I'm not going to come around with a bigger transmitter (or a jammer) and screw up your day? Oh right... regulation.

Re:Who owns the spectrum? (2, Insightful)

diamondmagic (877411) | about 4 years ago | (#31642366)

Property protection doesn't involve regulation, certainly not regulating content which is most of their job now. Protection is enforced by the courts, perhaps prosecuted with the help of a specialized beau, like how different divisions of the FBI specialize in different crimes, the FCC would investigate those "jammers" that would violate a broadcaster's right to their frequency.

Re:Who owns the spectrum? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31639658)

The government doesn't own it. We, the people, own it. The FCC regulates it on our behalf, since it would benefit no one if everyone just used it without regard to others. If someone decided to use the weather in a way that impacted others (Collecting all the rain in an area causing water shortages downstream), the government also has the responsibility to step in there.

Re:Who owns the spectrum? (1)

sjames (1099) | about 4 years ago | (#31639716)

But they're NOT asking the government to exert less control over the spectrum. Quite the contrary, they ask the government to control it with an iron fist and hand it over to them.

If you don't believe me, try transmitting on top of ATT's transmissions in that allocation and see if they don't demand that the government find and squash you.

Re:Who owns the spectrum? (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 4 years ago | (#31640378)

The spectrum is a public resource.

It makes perfect sense for the government to act as a steward over it.

The spectrum is to the FCC what the air and water are to the EPA.

What went wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31639118)

One of these cases again where you ask yourself what went wrong.
Trip to Europe. Check out carriers with solid coverage, ground capacity and backbones, turning in profits while playing by rules based on ethics and, on top, selling unlocked devices to a large degree.

Re:What went wrong? (2, Informative)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | about 4 years ago | (#31639342)

What went wrong? People leapt at the offer of free/cheap phones without realizing the leverage that 2-year contract was signing away.

Re:What went wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31639490)

Greed, pure and simple. In the States, the wireline infrastructure, in the large, was good enough to not do overhauls and the same went for the mobile infrastructure. They got maximal profits (key words there...) and there was little to obligate them past the minimal efforts needed to ensure they kept coming in. Since they're not required to do the right things that in the long run will make them vastly more money, they go for that short term gain at the expense of their customers and the long term future.

In Europe, however, the companies are obligated in varying ways, coupled with a goldmine opportunity for the wireless carriers as the wireline infrastructure in most places was...heh...entertaining to put it mildly. There's places in Europe where you're better off with that UTMS/GPRS/GMS phone- and it's in some of the cities that this is the case. Couple that with a requirement to not do the contracts, use phones that're not locked to the carrier, and so forth, and you have the reason things are as good as they are in that space over there.

Re:What went wrong? (1)

Aranykai (1053846) | about 4 years ago | (#31639872)

What went wrong? That's a great question.

I have an incredible phone, I can count the number of dropped calls I've had in the last year on one hand, I only pay $70 a month and I get every feature I could ever want, including a new phone every 10 months. I can call any cell phone for free, I can tether my laptop for free and I get to speak with a human when I call in.

Whats wrong with that?

Re:What went wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31641726)

I only pay $70 a month

"Only"?

Re:What went wrong? (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | about 4 years ago | (#31641918)

You have no idea how expensive your plan is, or just how much you get ripped off. Wireless carriers' margins are enormous.

If there wasn't regulation of some sort (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31639182)

If there wasn't regulation of some sort, then the wireless spectrum would be dominated by just a few corporations, being able to put millions into over-powered transmitters that drown out all competition.
Chinese Girls [chinese-girls.org]

decoding unprecedented evile's hostage demands (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31639198)

can't be done. not one of us (mountain movers) has ever said that before.

never a better time to consult with/trust in your creators, keeping someone 'on the other end of the line', since/until forever, using/providing an unlimited supply of newclear power, for the wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. see you there?

the lights are coming up all over now. all one needs to do is look.

The 4G Article is Simply Wrong (4, Informative)

saterdaies (842986) | about 4 years ago | (#31639378)

It makes statements like, "Other carriers are slapping the 4G label on a 3G-based technology, LTE". That's incorrect. LTE is part of the upgrade path for GSM/HSPA, but it's a completely new air interface using OFDM rather than HSPA's CDMA air interface. Just because something comes out of the same standards body doesn't make it 3G-based technology. Based on that logic, all of these technologies are based on old-fashioned radio technology. The author seems to want to imply that most 4G is just re-branded 3G that won't help users.

It says things like the iPhone being "just one device used by 3 percent of [AT&T's] customers." That's flat out wrong. Last quarter, AT&T activated 3.1 million iPhones. AT&T activated iPhones for more than 3% of its customer base *in a single quarter* and over 46% of AT&T's post-pay customer base used integrated devices as of the last quarter. Was there no fact checker for this article?

Finally, the article says that 4G won't solve the spectrum/capacity issue. It provides no evidence for this and merely rants about how you can't use a phone made for one carrier on another carrier and, therefore, nothing will ever work right. Yes, it's disappointing that all carriers don't use the same technology and spectrum bands, but that hardly has anything to do with capacity. The fact is that 4G is likely to solve a lot of capacity issues. With a 4G, all-VoIP solution, carriers should be able to get voice usage down to a fraction of their bandwidth. That's huge. Yes, 4G will see users consume more data as it gives them a faster, better experience. However, people aren't likely to start streaming audio at 512kbps or video above what YouTube and Hulu are pushing anytime soon. So it's likely that 4G will see an increase in available bandwidth considerably above any increase in customer usage. Plus, when talking about websites and such, the majority of the time is still spent with the connection idle as the user reads the page.

4G will improve our wireless experience by improving speeds and alleviating some capacity issues.

Re:The 4G Article is Simply Wrong (2, Informative)

Svartalf (2997) | about 4 years ago | (#31639438)

Heh... I'd have to concur. The "double-plus-ungood" article is just as much wrong. LTE AND WiMax are both part of the "4G" spec. It is very much wrong to claim that WiMax isn't 4G and Sprint's lying about it and making "fake" 4G adverts- they're not. Neither is Clear which is also working up to being a mobile voice provider in addition to data. The moment they got that wrong, I quit reading. They might be right in that they're doing big-brother stuff, all of the carriers- but if you can't get that tidbit right, what else in your "facts" do you have wrong?

Re:The 4G Article is Simply Wrong (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | about 4 years ago | (#31641958)

They're not part of the 4G spec. They're 3.9G. 4G requires the ability to reach much higher theoretical speeds. What you're thinking of is LTE Advanced and 802.16m, aka WIMAX 2, that are capable of 100mbit/s mobile and 1gb/s stationary peak speeds.

"easy " way to fix this (2, Insightful)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 4 years ago | (#31639466)

Congress needs to "Man Up" and write a bill giving the Communications companies a dead line of say 6 years to have
This List of things done. During the the wait time tax Corporate Bonuses an extra 15% and of course forbid any increases in salary above the inflation rate for this time. Of course if a company does in fact certify the list as being done (and have IRS types sign off) then they can stop paying the extra tax.

If the list is not done for any reason the extra tax jumps to 40% when the dead line hits.

the biggest problem is way to much money is being used to pad corporate profits and CXO bonuses and not enough is being used to oh PROVIDE SERVICES.

A Corporation is a Group of People (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31639758)

A corporation is a group of people. They get together, they bring their capital, and then they set out to accomplish something. In the process, those people empoy other people. If the task that those people attempt to accomplish is productive then the corporation will turn a profit. There is nothing wrong with this.

The behavior that we always need to be wary of from these incorporated people is that the engaging in rent seeking and monopolistic favors from government. The summary sort of says this, but it's buried under a layer corporation-bashing rhetoric.

Regards,
Jason

Re:A Corporation is a Group of People (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | about 4 years ago | (#31642138)

Um, no. The majority of telecom investors are short-term, jump-the-ship investors who couldn't care less about the long-term success and simply want to earn as much money as possible in as short a time as possible, so they can sell their stock and move on to greener pastures. Corporations used to be about benefiting the community as a whole until the 80s.

pre-paid.. (1)

uolamer (957159) | about 4 years ago | (#31642206)

There is a new brand in the US called Straight Talk (owned by Tracfone)that is only sold at Wal-Mart, has the same coverage as Verizon. $45/mo for unlimited $30/mo for 1k min, 1k txt, 30MB data. It seems to have forced many of the pre-paid plans get a bit more reasonable in price. While there was plans around this price they usually didnt have the coverage to go with it, these do... Their phone selection sort of blows but other than that its been a good service.

I do work where they sell these.. At first people were weary of them, rapidly people are coming in asking for them.. Had some problems keeping some of the better phones in stock at times.. All I know is once this was released all the major carriers suddenly had a better price for their unlimited pre-paid plans... Price fixing garbage..

Consumers need more (1)

OrwellianLurker (1739950) | about 4 years ago | (#31643382)

The FCC should be more interested in protecting consumers. Requiring standards that allow phones to easily move from network to network would be a good start.

What about the government paying independent companies to build infrastructure, such as towers, throughout the nation, and then allow mobile carriers to use the infrastructure? The carriers could pay some sort of rent, or tax, and it could be used by multiple carriers. The FCC could hire a company to maintain the infrastructure, while developing new infrastructure, and they could oversee it to make sure everything is properly maintained. The government is inefficient, but is supposed to be working on our behalf. Companies are efficient (the ones that survive anyway), and are working towards profit. If the FCC did this, and watched over all the companies involved, this could be beneficial. Does this sound like a decent idea?

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